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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2677

Wimal Weerawansa – A Daunting Leader

By Aruna Witharana

A young boy called Wimal Weerawansa who entered Kaluthara Thissa Maha Vidyalaya in 1976 became the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities in Sri Lanka in 2010.

While at the school he joined with Rohana Wijayaweera’s Janatha Vimukthi Pearamuna (JVP). Subsequently he gave up education, came to Colombo received coaching and teaching at his party office and became a full-timer in the JVP.

1989 was the most disastrous year to all JVP members. They lost almost all their leaders including Rohana Wijayaweera. President Peramadasa’s government destroyed their Central Committee – the very political base and left the party members in tatters. In those days the only hope and alternative left was death that was reverberating in the hearts and minds of the JVP rank and file. During this period the young Wima Weerawansa joined Lakmina and Hiru news papers and wrote against this violence in a pen name ‘Wimalasiri Gamlath’ or simply as ‘Gam’.

In 1994, the time had come to re-establish the JVP. He played a major role in that process and became the Propaganda secretary of JVP and entered the parliament. He joined hands with patriotic national movement and opposed tooth and nail

JVP leaders thought Weerawansa was aligned more with the Patriotic National Movement than they expected. This man became most popular politician in the island many people began to look at him with adoration but this created jitters within the JVP leadership. They tried to stop Wimal Weerawansa’s tongue and pen but they failed miserably.

As a result of this there was a division in the JVP politburo. Nandana Gunathilaka, who was an important personality in the JVP crossed over and became an independent member in the parliament. JVP leaders told the party that Nandana was a traitor. But Wimal Weerawansa told nothing about Nanada Gunathilaka.
In the year2008 JVP suspended Wimal Weerawansa from all positions he held in the party. Wimal Weeransa delivered an unforgettable speech in the floor of the Parliament and became an independent member in parliament.

Nine JVP parliamentarians joined with him. Wimal, Nandana and Kamal got together and registered new political party called Jathika Nidhahas Pearamuna(JNP). And they supported Rajapaksha government to defeat LTTE. During the presidential election campaign in 2010 Wimal Weerawansa and his party played a major role towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory against Sarath Fonseaka. In 2010, after the Parliamentary elections President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Wimal Weerawansa as Minister to the Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities.

In July 8, 2010 Minister Wimal Weerawansa started a hunger strike in front of UN head office in Sri Lanka to protest against the so called ‘Experts Panel’ appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon. Thousands of JNP members came to Colombo to support their leader. Even the Chief Editor of ‘Asian Tribune’ Mr. K.T.Rajasingham was also by the side of Wimal Weerawansa and supported him.

After three days of the hunger strike, President Mahindha Rajapaksha came to the place and gave Wimal Weerawansa a glass of water and asked him to give up the hunger protest. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksha was also there at the moment.

Now Jathika Nidahas Pearamuna is the second largest party in UPFA government. They have three members in the parliament, eleven provincial council members and seventy seven local government members.

Mr. Wimal Weerawansa is giving good leadership to party. Ever more the JNP members are on alert for their mother land, like their leader.

- Asian Tribune -

Minister Wimal Weerawansa -a leader and a patriot
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